We see the traffic reports. We drive the same highways. We know how dreadful that morning commute can be and we know how much worse it can get when there’s a crash.
So why do so many commuters continue to drive like they are starring in an action film like The Italian Job or Fast and Furious?
Some days it can seem like all dignity and grace goes out the window when West Shore residents get behind the wheel for their daily commute. It can be a battle-royale to jockey for position only to end up just one car ahead at the next light or section of congestion.
We’ve all seen those commuters who use the Helmcken Road overpasses as their own personal acceleration lane, cutting off other commuters, only to get back on Highway 1 three cars ahead of where they originally were. We’ve seen drivers try to use the shoulder to pass bumper to bumper congestion. And we’ve seen drivers try to butt their way into a lane without signalling to end up cutting off a big rig that miraculously squeals to a stop in time.
We see drivers put their lives, and the lives of others, on the line every day. But we just cannot figure out why.
Maybe an anger management course should be a requirement in getting a licence. Maybe some drivers just shouldn’t be driving, or, maybe, others just need more coffee in the morning.
But whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for the tailgating, aggressive lane changing, general bat-out-of-hell movements we see on the roads.
We also see their results. We report on the five-car pile ups, the totalled minivans, and the never ending delays these cause.
Last week alone, West Shore RCMP responded to 17 motor vehicle incidents, eight of those were on the same day. That’s a lot of carnage scattered across the West Shore, not to mention insurance claims. Is there not a better use for all of those resources we are wasting with careless behaviour?
So as September draws nearer, that daily commute will undoubtedly become longer as children go back to school and summer vacations end.
We all need to remember that being late will not kill you, but bad driving just might.
So maybe it’s time we give each other a break on the road and practise safe driving techniques, like alternating with merging traffic and giving another driver the right of way. Those little things will go a long way in speeding up the flow of traffic for everyone.
And by not flipping the bird to every car that irks us, the drive might just be a little smoother for everyone.